Google’s Ecosystem of Apps Banned from Future Huawei Smartphones →

May 20, 2019 · 12:03

Angela Moon, reporting for Reuters:

Alphabet Inc’s Google has suspended business with Huawei that requires the transfer of hardware, software and technical services except those publicly available via open source licensing, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Sunday, in a blow to the Chinese technology company that the U.S. government has sought to blacklist around the world.

Holders of current Huawei smartphones with Google apps, however, will continue to be able to use and download app updates provided by Google, a Google spokesperson said, confirming earlier reporting by Reuters […]

Chipmakers including Intel Corp, Qualcomm Inc, Xilinx Inc and Broadcom Inc have told their employees they will not supply critical software and components to Huawei until further notice […]

This could spiral out of control very easily.


Apple’s Tariff Tradeoff: Raise Phone Prices or Suffer Margin Hit →

May 16, 2019 · 11:59

Mark Gurman, for Bloomberg:

In late November, Trump told the Wall Street Journal he might impose tariffs on mobile phones and laptops, and said consumers “could stand” a 10% increase in prices “very easily” […]

I’m sure that “said consumers” completely agree with Trump.

A $1,249 iPhone XS Max with 256 gigabytes of storage has $453 worth of parts, according to TechInsights. A 25% levy on that would be $113, raising the purchase price by about 9%. Apple’s other models, the iPhone XS and the iPhone XR, could face a similar increase, according to estimates. In a recent note to investors, Morgan Stanley estimated that a $999 iPhone XS would cost $160 more. JPMorgan analysts forecast a 14% price increase […]

If Apple passes the whole tariff cost to U.S. consumers, demand could drop by 10% to 40%, Cowen’s Sankar estimated on Tuesday. That, in turn, may slice earnings per share by 1% to 4% in fiscal 2020, the analyst said.

So, Apple could “very easily” lose between 10% and 40% in new iPhone sales. I guess that means that the free 5 GB iCloud tier isn’t going up in size anytime soon.


Poland Is Europe’s Smog Capital →

December 9, 2018 · 12:06

Josh Gabbatiss, for The Independent:

Poland is Europe’s smog capital, home to 33 of Europe’s 50 most polluted cities. As delegates gathered in Katowice last week, data collected by the European Environment Agency revealed it was the second most polluted city on the continent. Its levels of particulate matter were twice as high as those deemed safe by the World Health Organisation.

Considering the toxic air, the mounting pressure to drop coal altogether and the dire climate warnings, it seems remarkable that Polish politicians are gripping on to fossil fuel with such tenacity.

What’s even more frightening is that normal people — not politicians — want us to use coal, because that’s what they heard our beloved government say is good for us (insert facepalm emoji here). I have personally seen and heard their arguments. Unbelievable.


Poland Purges Supreme Court and Protesters Take to Streets →

July 5, 2018 · 10:04

Marc Santora, for The New York Times:

Poland’s government carried out a sweeping purge of the Supreme Court on Tuesday night, eroding the judiciary’s independence, escalating a confrontation with the European Union over the rule of law and further dividing this nation. Tens of thousands took to the streets in protest.

Poland was once a beacon for countries struggling to escape the yoke of the Soviet Union and embrace Western democracy. But it is now in league with neighboring nations, like Hungary, whose leaders have turned to authoritarian means to tighten their grip on power, presenting a grave challenge to a European Union already grappling with nationalist, populist and anti-immigrant movements.

The forced retirements of up to 27 of 72 Supreme Court justices, including the top judge, and the creation of a judicial disciplinary chamber were the latest in a series of steps by Poland’s right-wing Law and Justice Party to take over the justice system.

We’re fucked. I assume they’re going to eradicate our Constitution next.


The Gay Mayor Shaking Up Politics in Catholic Poland →

May 29, 2018 · 13:11

Adam Easton, for the BBC, quoting Renata Kim, a journalist for the Polish edition of Newsweek:

“I think it’s too early for an openly gay politician to become an important figure in politics,” she argues. 

“We are a very conservative society. People are not ready to accept such a person as their president or prime minister,” she adds.

I try to avoid following politics because most politicians in Poland are in it for the money and their own interests. Robert Biedroń is the only politician that I know of, who seems to be a genuinely good person. I don’t care if he’s an atheist, satanist, gay, uses an Android device, or doesn’t like Star Wars — he appears to be actually trying to bring good to the people that elected him. And that’s enough for me — he’ll get my vote.


Paweł Pawlikowski Claims To Be Blacklisted by Poland’s Populist Government →

May 14, 2018 · 15:53

AFP:

Oscar-winning director Pawel Pawlikowski claimed Friday that he had been blacklisted by Poland’s populist rightwing government and compared censorship in the country now to the dark days of communism.

The 60-year-old, who won the best foreign language movie for “Ida” in 2015, told AFP that the film had been banned from being shown on television or in Polish cultural institutes abroad.

“The film is on a blacklist… There is now a blacklist of books, theatre directors and filmmakers who must not be supported,” he said.

“I have the honour to be on this list,” Pawlikowski said as his new film, “Cold War” was premiered at the Cannes film festival.

“With the new government, which has taken total control of public television, it is just like under the communism. The propaganda on TV is incredible,” he said.

His last film “Ida” became the target of attacks and a petition by the country’s Culture Minister Piotr Glinski, then in opposition, when it was nominated for an Academy Award.

He accused Pawlikowski of blackening the country’s reputation.


Defying E.U. Court, Poland Is Cutting Trees in an Ancient Forest →

August 1, 2017 · 09:18

Joanna Berendt, writing for the New York Times:

Defying an order from the European Union’s highest court, the Polish government said on Monday that it would continue logging in Bialowieza Forest, the last primeval forest in Europe and a habitat for hundreds of bison.

The decision is the latest challenge by Poland to the legal authority of the European Union, which Poland joined in 2004, and could result in financial penalties. The arch-conservative and nationalist government that took power in Poland in 2015 has been chastised by the authorities in Brussels; last week, it was formally warned that its efforts to consolidate power over the judiciary in Poland threatened the rule of law.

The Bialowieza Forest, a Unesco World Heritage site, is a relic of ancient woodlands in the middle of the European lowlands, at the border of Poland and Belarus.

Poland is so fucked right now. Soon, the EU will impose sanctions our country. Who will pay? Us of course, not the government, which has already set us back at least a decade. Another decade.


Poland — Basically A Dictatorship →

July 20, 2017 · 16:04

Rick Lyman, writing for the New York Times:

An enraged Jaroslaw Kaczynski — the former president’s twin brother and, as leader of Law and Justice, the most powerful political figure in Poland — seized the lectern and fired back: “Do not wipe your traitorous mugs with the name of my late brother. You are scoundrels.”

Law and Justice has long maintained that the 2010 crash was an assassination, perhaps involving Russia and members of the political opposition.

“You murdered him,” Mr. Kaczynski shouted.

Ewa Kopacz, the prime minister under the previous center-right government, declared herself flabbergasted. “This man is crazy with hate,” she said of Mr. Kaczynski. “He cannot control his emotions.”

When Trump won, I thought USA was worse off than Poland.

I was wrong.